Scores Detained in Turkey During May Day Festivities

Turkish riot police on Monday detained 85 people as scuffles erupted at May Day rallies in three cities, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Scores Detained in Turkey During May Day Festivities

In Istanbul, 34 people were taken into custody as truncheon-wielding riot police swooped down on left-wing demonstrators who tried to hold a rally at a venue banned by authorities, said Governor Muammer Güler. Television footage showed the protestors resisting arrest by hitting officers with sticks and police retaliating with tear gas and truncheons in Taksim Square, the heart of the shopping and entertainment district on the city's European side.

In the eastern city of Elazig police broke up a group of demonstrators said to be members of an outlawed extreme-left group when they insisted on holding a sit-in in a city square despite orders to disperse, pelting officers with stones.

Fifty-one people were detained in the scuffles, Anatolia said.

Clashes also broke out in the western city of Ýzmir when a group of Kurdish demonstrators refused to allow police to search them as they were entering the main venue for May Day celebrations. Some protestors and police officers were injured in the scuffles.

Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered in the Kadikoy district on the Asian side of Istanbul and in the capital of Ankara for rallies organized by leading trade unions and civic organizations and approved by authorities. Both ended peacefully.

May 1 demonstrations have in the past led to violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Turkey. In 1996, three protesters were killed in Istanbul and dozens of demonstrators and police officers injured after violence erupted in Kadiköy.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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